Losing a child is one of the most tragic events that can occur in someone's life. When the deaths are caused by accidents, parents would naturally question every action they took when attempting to understand how the event occurred. While one Louisiana woman is grappling with the loss of her child and what she might have done differently, she unfortunately has another major concern. The mother has been arrested on charges of vehicular homicide following a recent car crash.
A 20-year-old woman was arrested for allegedly contributing to the death of her daughter in an Oct. 2017 accident. Police records state that she failed to secure her child's car seat in the vehicle involved in the accident. Reportedly, the car seat's straps were not adjusted properly for the child's height, nor was it secured adequately. These actions were deemed as contributing factors to the child's death, according to the police, and they purportedly reflected gross negligence by the mother.
A representative from Baton Rouge is puzzled by the arrest. She noted that the mother was simply a passenger in the car and was not driving at the time of the accident. Also, the person who struck the car the mother and child were in was speeding at 94 miles per hour. The driver, a 28-year-old man, was also charged with vehicular homicide as well as speeding.
The mother was released on bond after being booked into jail. Law professors question the motives of the police for the arrest. One professor noted that gross negligence by the mother must be proven by the prosecutors. Even former district attorneys weighed in to comment that prosecutors must also prove that the baby's death was specifically caused by the insufficient installation of the car seat.
A charge of vehicular homicide in any circumstance is a serious matter, particularly when the person charged was not even driving. Yet, the penalties for a conviction are significant and may include heavy fines and extended jail time. To minimize the impact of these consequences, it would be in someone's best interests to contact a Louisiana criminal defense attorney.
Source: theadvocate.com, "Experts question mother's arrest in crash that killed baby; off-duty cop going 94 mph remains on paid leave", Lea Skene and Grace Toohey, Feb. 28, 2018